Turkey: A Good Choice for New Year’s Eve Dinners

    In Mexico, Spaniards Used to Called It "Gallina de Indias"

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    Abelardo Canelo
    I am not only a fluent Spanish-English reader/speaker but also a bi-cultural person who has a broad solid background. I also have a passionate interest in different expressions of music, especially many American styles and their combinations (Folk-Country, Jazz, Pop, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Soul, and so on), dance, stage and screen, and some other forms of artistic expression.

    A dish that is inevitable at the end-of-the-year celebrations is the baked turkey. This bird was known by the Spaniards in Mexico during the conquest, who named it “Gallina de Indias” (Indians’ Hen).

    Then, European gastronomy coined the turkey as an exotic and exclusive product for people of royalty. However, over time the turkey became a more economical food and access to the rest of the population, due to its period of fattening and breeding is less than other birds.

    Over the years, this bird has gained popularity, so much to become a dish that cannot be missed in most dinners. In addition, turkey is a very nutritious food. Here are some of its main benefits:

    New Year’s Eve dinner in the family
    • Your meat is low in fat and cholesterol, especially if you remove the skin before eating it.
    • It is a source of good quality proteins because it provides all the essential amino acids that the body needs to build, maintain and repair body tissues.
    • Provides micronutrients such as Group B vitamins, especially Niacin (vitamin B3) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6), in addition to minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and iron.

    On the other hand, to ensure the proper handling, storage, and preparation of frozen turkey, we give you some tips:

    • Verify that the label has the date of packing and expiration. It is also important to make sure that the packaging is tightly closed and that the store’s refrigerator is below -4 °C (40 °F).
    • Before taking it home, request that it be packaged separately from other foods.
    • A whole raw turkey can be kept up to about 12 months in the freezer (-17 °C or 0 °F). Once cooked this time is reduced by half. It is important to wrap it in a freezer bag and always mark the date in a visible place.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before, during and after handling raw poultry. Remember to always use 2 cutting boards, one for raw meats and the other one for cooked foods, thus avoiding cross-contamination.
    • The safest way to defrost a turkey is to place it on the bottom of the refrigerator in a bowl and allow about one day for every 2.5 kilograms of this meat.
    • When cooking this saucer it is important that you use a thermometer to make sure the meat reaches the temperature of 75 °C (165 °F). Once ready, avoid that the turkey remains at room temperature for more than 2 hours, and after that time it is better to refrigerate it.

    The end-of-the-year parties are the perfect time to share with your beloved ones. And there is no better way than with a healthy Christmas dinner. Happy Holidays!

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